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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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decide the turn of events at a given moment are them-
selves only the product of their age, after all; and they
seem to suggest on occasion that nothing is therefore
added—last year's crop has merely been ploughed in
again, so to speak.   It is a grave mistake to think of
human beings as " only" the products of their age.
It is a further example of the loose land of pseudo-
scientific thought which has the effect of eliminating
personality from the question, and so simplifying the
problem at issue.   All the influences and ingredients
of a given age and environment are by no means sufficient
in themselves to explain the next stage of the story, the
next turn of events.   These influences and ingredients
are liable to be churned over afresh inside any human
personality,  each man assimilating them, combining
them and reacting to them in his peculiar way.   The
result is that nobody is to be explained as the mere
product of his age; but every personality is a separate
fountain of action, unpredictable and for ever capable
of producing new things.   In a sense, each separate
human being represents something that for the historian
is irreducible—himself the possible source of a new
stream in history.   It is not a disembodied idea, as
some men have thought, and not an economic factor,
as Marxists assert, but the incalculability of a humati
personality that is  "the  starting-point of historical
change ".   The idea of process in history is a dangerous
clue in the hands of people who do not possess also a
high doctrine of personality.   The whole texture of
historical writing is in question here.
The modern world has been so materialistic that even